The following extract is from Jezebel.com and you can and should read the whole article here. It’s what I will describe as a book review (for lack of a better term) by Lindy West of Field Guide to Chicks of the United States by the brilliantly-named Joe Bovino. Again, I urge you to read the article (and this one from Dame Magazine, in which Joe Donatelli lists twelve kinds of women that won’t be having sex with Joe Bovino). However, to sum up the book: for a mere $27, you too can own an illustrated list of stereotypes. You know how bird guides show pictures of various species you might hope to encounter while crouching forlornly in a hedge clutching a pair of binoculars? And you know how they then supply useful information about what they eat, how they breed, how to identify their calls, what their offspring look like and how you can tell them apart? That’s what this is, but the pictures are cartoons of women, and the ‘facts’ are about women and oh my God the whole thing is an actual, honest-to-God straight swap: take birds out, put women in. I’M NOT JOKING. THIS IS A REAL THING. Helpfully, Bovino has come up with new, super-offensive names for all the different ‘species’, which I can’t bear to repeat. The worst one is the ‘Peace of Ass’, the natural habitat of whom is a yoga studio, so I guess that’s my category (see Busting a gut). This is the level of brain-deadening stupidity we’re dealing with here.
Lindy West says pretty much everything there is to say about this piece of sexist racist mindless tosh, but with my professional hat on (it’s green and woolly, with an important-looking strap to hold my big red pen), I just wanted to add that, like West, I would be only too delighted to offer my copy-editing services for free. I’ll also proof it, index it (‘Women, unrealistically hot, passim’), typeset it, bind it and design the dust jacket, provided I don’t have to copy it, distribute it or read it. West finishes the review as follows:
‘… I took it upon myself to offer some pro bono editing services! Here’s a sample paragraph, with my notes:
Two-page species profiles on each chick are the key to the guide. Each profile includes a ¾ page illustration of each chick, as well as its species name, common name, group (regional, ethnic, other) name, and its most distinguishing physical characteristics, song, behavioral tendencies, mating patterns, (chick) magnets, location, and habitat. It also includes a behavioral trait chart, promiscuity index, and color-coded range map. And there are even a few (whoa! and fetch!) tips for guys in the field.
‘Weirdly, by the time I got done editing the whole book, all that was left was the word Field. So pre-order Field, everyone! It’s about … a field, I guess. Best book ever.’